Website Security: More Important Now Than Ever

We are now reaching the point where having a secure website is imperative. There were more than 178 million records of Americans that were exposed in cyberattacks in 2015. According to The Identity Theft Resource Center’s Data Breach Report, 901 breaches with access to more than 34 million records have taken place in 2016, with more likely to be reported by the end of the year – since December typically brings an increase due to the holidays. This has resulted in December being declared “National Identity Theft Prevention and Awareness Month”.

As we had discussed in an article earlier in May of 2015 about the importance of secure mobile-friendly websites obtaining better search engine ranking online, HTTPS has become a significant trust factor – signaling to users that the website they are visiting actually cares about protecting their online privacy. Secure websites are not just for protecting client data, guarding your information, and improving search engine ranking – website security can now be a deciding factor for your website to be seen by certain users.

In 2014, both Mozilla (Firefox) and Google (Chrome) had announced that insecure websites would have their search rankings decreased. Google firmly stated “we encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web”.

In 2016, the web browser Google Chrome further weighed SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layer/ Transport Layer Security) as a key search engine ranking factor and has begun flagging un-encrypted websites.

Now, in a recent post made by WordPress, they have made it a point to state, “We’re at a turning point: 2017 is going to be the year that we’re going to see features in WordPress which require hosts to have HTTPS available.” And they also said, “First, early in 2017, we will only promote hosting partners that provide a SSL certificate by default in their accounts. Later we will begin to assess which features, such as API authentication, that would benefit the most from SSL and make them only enabled when SSL is there.”

So this means that WordPress will be enabling the availability of certain features such as plugins and widgets only when a security certificate is present on a website, and required by the host. Foresight helped us determine the need to purchase a new dedicated server in September of 2016, in order to increase performance and speed – and to further strengthen website security as well.

HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) is to ensure secure transactions for ecommerce websites as well as security of any customer data that a website collects. A website that uses HTTPS has its data encrypted – so only you as the visitor and the website you visit are able to see what you are doing on the website.

One can already notice a significant difference in the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) visibility when comparing HTTPS and HTTP websites online.

GINGALLEY can help you with professional website design and security. We install TLS/SSL Certificates that are issued by a verified CA (Certificate Authority) and we ensure a high level of security by choosing a 2048-bit key. We offer a full range of web design services and added layers of security that will protect your data, your clients, build visitor trust, and help your online ranking.